Joe Gibbs Racing Latest Video Raises Question About NASCAR’s Recent Policy Change on Wearing Underwear and the Anticipated Enforcement
Joe Gibbs Racing made waves on social media several times earlier this offseason with a pair of videos that got the attention of the NASCAR fan base. This week, the race team uploaded another video that hasn’t received much attention but addresses an interesting topic, the recent rule change by NASCAR requiring drivers to wear fireproof underwear.
The policy change and reason for it is a story by itself, but it gets even more intriguing because, as JGR pointed out on YouTube, it raises one very curious question — how will it be enforced?
Joe Gibbs Racing stirring it up on social media this offseason
Less than a month after the season finale in Phoenix, Joe Gibbs Racing shared a video on social media from that race that included a warning due to the graphic nature of the content, followed by footage from the helmet cam of Christopher Bell’s jackman during a pit stop as his finger got lodged under the wheel for several seconds. That delay costs Bell a chance at the championship and almost costs the jackman his finger.
And JGR was just getting started.
A week later, the organization created an even bigger stir when posting a video that showed a Toyota Camry on the campus repeatedly coming to a quick halt, simulating a pit stop. Footage from inside the car showed cables and numerous batteries.
“It’s electric,” the tweet said. “A look at the electric car that our pit crews are going to practice pit stops with here at the shop. #NASCAR #racing #electric”
That post generated a considerable response. Unsurprisingly, some of it was unfavorable as a group of fans immediately made the illogical leap from being used as a practice car for pit stops, as specifically stated, to this is the new car JGR will be running in races in 2023, which was never the case.
Joe Gibbs Racing raises question on NASCAR’s new policy on wearing underwear
NASCAR provides updates to its rulebook throughout the year. Much of the time, it’s reactionary to something that’s happened in the past. Think back to last year when the National Motorsports Appeals Panel removed the points penalty given to William Byron but doubled his fine for the incident with Denny Hamlin at Texas. The sanctioning body didn’t like its decision being overturned and made a subtle change to the rules with “and/or” being replaced by “and” when it comes to a points penalty and a fine.
Last week, NASCAR made another barely noticeable alteration to the rules, but one that will affect every driver before every race. Drivers will now be required to wear a fire-resistant head sock/helmet skirt, underwear, and socks. All of those previously were recommended not mandated.
This week, Joe Gibbs Racing posted a YouTube video discussing the mandatory wearing of underwear and, on behalf of all drivers and fans, asked the question — how will it be enforced?
“There’s also some rule changes regarding the underpants the drivers wear,” the JGR rep said. “Or, not just pants, but all of their undergarments they wear on track. Fireproof underwear used to be recommended, as well as like head socks and helmet skirts. Those are required now.
“If some of you remember the wreck in the Truck Series with Jordan Anderson last year, he suffered burns and that motivated this rule to be in place. Probably a rule that’s been overdue for quite some time regarding fire safety in NASCAR.
“Regarding how they will police this rule. I’m not sure they got a policy in place yet. They may do random inspection or maybe something more regular but I’m not sure how they’ll inspect the driver’s undergarments each week as of now. It’s probably something that will be made up as we go.”
What will happen
While it’s an odd, smirk-producing topic, the underlying theme of what necessitated the change is serious. Jordan Anderson’s fiery crash at Talladega last year was terrifying. He sustained second- and third-degree burns throughout his body, including his face, neck, right arm and leg, and knees. It could have been much worse.
As the JGR rep said, that incident with Anderson last October inspired the underwear rule change that will undoubtedly benefit the drivers. That is if they’re wearing them. And there’s only one way to know if they are. Inspection.
What that looks like isn’t clear at this point but you would expect the drivers would be informed of the procedure before the upcoming Clash at the Coliseum.